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Igloo MaxCold 50 qt.
Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt
See Top Ranked Hard Coolers

Igloo MaxCold vs Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler

Analysis:

The Igloo MaxCold 50 qt. is an example of a great Hard Cooler at its $55 budget.

In the case of the Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt, however, we weren't able to find enough data to come to any reliable conclusions.

The Igloo MaxCold 50 qt. was loved by reviewers at CNET, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The best outdoor tech of 2020" roundup where it was named its "The best cooler under $100", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

As for the Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt - OutdoorGearLab, a source that conducts reliable hands-on testing, has featured it in its Pelican Elite Wheeled Review roundup. However, it didn't make it to any of the top spots.

We couldn't find any sources that tested both of these Hard Coolers, so we only analyzed how they performed in reviews from different sites.

We first examined which sources rated each of these best and found that the Igloo MaxCold 50 qt. got its highest, 8.2, rating from CNET, while the Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt earned its best, 6.1, score from OutdoorGearLab.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Igloo MaxCold 50 qt., with its 8.2 average, performed considerably better than most Hard Coolers - the mean score for the product category being 6.1 out of 10 - while the Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt managed an average of 6.1.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Igloo MaxCold 50 qt. vs. Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
CNET
OutdoorGearLab
Your Best Digs
Good Housekeeping
Tech. Specs Comparison
Igloo MaxCold 50 qt.
$56
Pelican Elite Wheeled Cooler 55-Qt
Capacity
50 (qt)
-
Ice Retention
5 (days)
-
Weight
11.13 (lb)
-
Significantly higher than average expert review score
6.2
Overall Avg. for Hard Coolers
8.2
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
6.2
Overall Avg. for Hard Coolers
6.1
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best outdoor tech of 2020” 
Last updated: 27 Dec 2019
Your Best Digs
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
4. Budget pick
in “The Best Coolers” 
Last updated: 19 Mar 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
OutdoorGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 6.1 out of 10
in “Best Cooler of 2020” 
Last updated: 14 Jul 2020

Key things to consider when buying Hard Cooler

Our super simple Buying Guide

Graphic logicFam
  • Design (Shape, wheels, handles, locks)
  • Material (E.g., rigid plastic versus more brittle, rubber latches vs plastic)
  • Insulation (Most importantly, open vs closed cell foams)
Prod
  • Capacity (I.e., a lot of size variation of the same model here like 24 vs 48-can coolers. Not a config bc notable impact on price and user experience)

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